The first bridge was a wooden plank affair with handrails, nothing fancy, but solidly constructed. We walked across it without thinking about it one way or the other—it was a bridge, it filled the need.
The next “bridge” was a bit more challenging. Large stones led across the brook and kept your feet dry as long as you kept your balance. But the stones were solidly set and not slippery, so aside from having to think where to put your foot on each one, it was not too difficult. Still, it did take some thought.
The next also had stepping stones, but these were wetter, which meant slicker, and one teetered when you put your weight on it. If not for my trusty trekking poles, I would have had wet feet, if not something a bit larger wet as well.
Then came the fourth “bridge.” Even Keith made a noise when he saw it up ahead. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources had laid four logs across the brook. Not flat planks, mind you, but rounded logs; not large logs, but more like fence posts—small fence posts; not tied together, but each about four inches apart, just far enough for a foot to slip through. With my weak ankles and poor vision, they might just as well have asked me to walk a tightrope.
Keith said, “Had you rather get wet?”
I did not dignify that with an answer. I just started across—slowly sliding my feet an inch or two at a time. Don’t tell me that the faster you go, the easier it is. You are talking to a klutz, remember, a half-blind one at that! Those seven or eight feet seemed more like seventy or eighty, but I only slipped once, and by then I was close enough to the other side that Keith could reach out and steady me.
As we continued on I reflected on the fact that the “bridges” were getting less and less like real bridges, and was pondering what might come next. One log that rolled as you walked? I found myself praying, stepping stones please, even ones that teeter, but no more logs!
Funny how a hurdle you manage later in life makes the earlier ones seem so much smaller. But which of us would begin weight training with a 200 pound weight or run a marathon the first time we ever jogged?
Don’t you know that our Father is watching out for us? A life without any trials would leave us weaklings. But He is careful: the first bridge we cross will make us strong enough for the second, and the second for the third, and so on throughout our lives.
As it turns out those four logs were the last bridge on our trail. God knows which bridge is the most difficult we can manage at any given time. Especially the last one.
There has no temptation taken you but such as man can bear; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation make also the way of escape that you may be able to endure it, 1 Cor 10:13.